Deprecated: Non-static method nggMediaRss::add_mrss_alternate_link() should not be called statically in /homepages/13/d168846385/htdocs/ on line 288

Swami Radha's Life of Service XVIII

May 5, 2009 by Swami Durgananda

Swami RadhaThe series takes us into the mid ’70’s with stories of an inspiring visit from Swami Venkatesananda as well as the first instances of the ashram closing for part of the year to allow residents to rest and renew.  Gratitude shines through the words of those who were touched by Swami Radha’s work and teachings at that time.

Swami Durgananda writes:

A letter to a friend in California written on April 6, 1974 reveals the stress that Swami Radha felt from the traveling she was doing. “You can see that I am very tightly scheduled. It may be necessary for me to remain more stationary and have people come to see me rather than losing a lot of time in going such distances. I also feel the need to preserve my energy. I seem to forget that I turned 63 on my last birthday and the pressures and demands of the Ashram and people are often enormous. For that reason I will spend part of November and December in Mexico, finding myself a little place to rent, write and meditate. I have given up many activities in the Ashram for the same reason.”

Swami Radha with Swami VenkatesanandaThe Summer 1975 issue of Ascent tells of Swami Venkatesananda’s two month visit to the Ashram. ( He was the swami who helped Swami Radha during her stay in India). “His presence has been a continuous source of inspiration, blessing and “divine confusion” to us all. With unexcelled equanimity and peace he has led morning meditation and evening satsang, as well as giving talks both in town and at the Ashram.”

“On Sunday September 7, the Ashram invited all neighbors to join with us in celebrating Swami Sivananda’s birthday. The open house began after supper and included stories of Swami Sivananda’s life, films narrated by Swami Radha of her trips to India and of her experiences with her guru. We closed with the story of the origin of the Divine Light Invocation. It was quite a high time for us all.”

Another first has been the closing of the Ashram for the month of September. No workshops were given for guests and we took advantage of this opportunity to take a fresh look at ourselves through an intensive examination of our senses of sight and hearing in a two-week workshop under the guidance of Swami Radha. We were especially blessed and grateful for this gift. All of us learned so much from this experience, and it was wonderful to be able to sit down together, to be together, to learn and share Spiritual practice and understanding together.”

I am sure this opportunity to come together to do spiritual practices and to learn from Swami Radha was part of the growth of the Ashram and the young men who had been drawn to her.

I came across an example of the letters of gratitude that Swami Radha often received for the help she gave to people who contacted her. This one was written in December 1974. “Two months ago today my wife and I went to see you and asked you to help us along the path. I want to thank you for being who you are and for coming to Ottawa and showing us that the spirituality in books lives….The change in my life has been dramatic….I am making progress as I never have in my life before, and this progress wouldn’t be possible unless I really believed it was possible to become more like you. Our hearts go out to you.”

Class with Swami Radha in Siva Hall“Early in 1976 we closed the Ashram for ten days so that Swami Radha could continue with her workshops for the residents, this one on the sense of touch. We all learned a great deal from this experience, especially in seeing the extent to which our minds and emotions distort the true nature of perception. Thank you, Swami Radha, for sharing your wisdom and experience with us.”

I look forward to discovering what comes to the surface for the next part of Swami Radha’s Life of Service.

In the Light,
Swami Durgananda



  1. Thank you so much for creating these wonderful pages that give such welcome insights into the history of Swami Radha’s work and life; they are precious!

    I cannot find any link to Swami Radha’s Life of Service #16 — does it exist?

    Comment by Paul Shuebrook — May 11, 2009 @ 10:14 am

  2. Namaste Paul,
    Part 16 of Radha’s Life of Service is here:
    To view all of the Articles on Radha’s Life of Service, you can click on the Category: Radha’s Life of Service link, or go directly here:

    Comment by Ben Johnson — May 11, 2009 @ 1:22 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

What is 5 + 3 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)